After reading this article, you would know:
What are the key nutrients that are responsible for health benefits of parsley?
And how to best use parsley in your diet with easy and tasty recipes.
If you eat out often, you most likely have noticed the green garnish on your plate when your food is served. Most restaurants use fresh parsley (ajmod in Hindi) to add color to your plate.
While it is an attractive garnish, this biennial herb has a wide variety of uses and health benefits.
What Is Parsley?
Parsley is perhaps the most popular herb anywhere in the world. Its scientific name is Petroselinum crispum, which comes from a Greek word meaning “rock celery”.
This herb is a member of the Umbelliferae or Apiaceae family which is native to the Mediterranean.
There are two types of parsley that make it stand out from other types of herbs.
Moss curled parsley is the type most commonly used for plate garnishments. This parsley is characterized by tightly curled green leaves that are finely cut.
Flat leaf parsley is extremely flavorful, so it is typically used when cooking to accent flavor. ‘Banquet’ is a favorite curled leaf parsley.
In flat leaf plants, Plain Italian Dark Green is often chosen for its vivid green color and flavor enhancing properties.
You can also grow it outside during the spring and inside during the cold winter months. Parsley can be used while fresh or dried and stored for use later on.
Nutritional Values of Parsley
Parsley is not just beautiful and delicious it adds nutritional values to your food. It has nearly every nutrient our body needs.
The values are for a cup of serving (nearly 60 grams):(3)
Parsley health benefits because of a nutrient-rich profile
Using parsley is beneficial for health because it contains key ingredients that are essential for our body.
Flavonoids such as apiin, apigenin, luteolin and crisoeriol are found in abundance in parsley. These work exactly like antioxidants in the body and help fight free radicals that are harmful for body.
Here are top ten health benefits of parsley which are due to the key nutrients it has:
- Reduces joint damage from rheumatoid arthritis
- Inhibit tumor growth and prevent damage from carcinogens
- Increase oxygen capacity in the bloodstream
- Reduce inflammation in the body
- Prevent disease development such as asthma and diabetes
- Decreases risk of stroke and heart attack by improving cardiovascular health
- Help boost the function of the immune system, fighting off colds and viruses
Great Ways to Get More Parsley into Your Diet
So, are you convinced that parsley is a great addition to your diet?
Here are a few ways to get more parsley every day so you can reap the benefits of this natural herb.
1. Parsley Tea
The most popular way people are getting more parsley is by making an aromatic, pungent tea. It can be steeped or made into an iced tea.
This tea has been found to eliminate excess water from the body. If you suffer from urinary tract infections or kidney stones, this tea can help ease your suffering.
Flavonoids in parsley tea have been found to slow cancer cell growth. Experts feel this may help reduce breast cancer in some women.
How to make the Parsley Tea
Here is a delicious recipe for parsley tea you may enjoy preparing and drinking.
Although parsley tea is generally safe, there are a few exceptions. If you have high blood pressure, avoid drinking parsley tea. This is because parsley may cause salt retention, which can cause a spike in blood pressure.(4)
2. Parsley Salad
Parsley salad is fun to make and is delicious. There are so many ways to make this dish. You can use standard salad ingredients or spice it up a bit.
Some fun additions include dried apricots, golden raisins, quinoa, couscous, and bulgur.
To add some crunch, try adding some sunflower seeds or slivered almonds. There is no end to the fun with parsley salad.
In the end, you can feel good about eating a dish with so many health benefits. Here is a good recipe for this dish:
Most people who like salad enjoy parsley salad. You may find the parsley a bit bitter, especially if you don’t have very fresh herbs.
It can also be expensive to make if you add a lot of different ingredients.
3. Parsley Ice Cream
One of the most fun ways to eat parsley is by making ice cream. This dish is cool, refreshing and healthy on hot summer days.
While parsley is the star of the dish, there are many other fun things you can add. Mint, chocolate chips, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and balsamic vinegar are just a few ideas.
Not just any parsley will do when making ice cream. Flat leaf parsley is the best because it has a unique anise flavor. Here is a great parsley ice cream recipe you may love to try at home.
This dessert is refreshing and less expensive to make than most homemade ice creams.
4. Parsley and Lemon Water
Parsley can also be taken in a hot beverage. Parsley and lemon water is one way to flush excess fluids from your body and eliminate toxins.It also has antioxidants that reduce inflammation that helps prevent diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
When used over time, it can even bring down your cholesterol levels.
Parsley and lemon water is safe for everyone, except those who are pregnant or on blood thinning medicines.
Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid taking in excess amounts of any herb.
A delicious recipe for parsley and lemon water is available here.
5. Dry Parsley Leaves
You can dry parsley leaves for use in recipes. When drying the leaves, you want to be careful to use techniques that help retain its color and vitamins.
Dried parsley is delicious in soups, salads and Italian dishes.
The sky is the limit when cooking with this herb. It is inexpensive enough to experiment and find your favorite ways to use it. Parsley leaves can be dried in the oven or microwave.
You can also hang it to dry in a dark room. You can get even more ways to dry out your parsley leaves at wikiHow.
Side Effects Associated With The USAGES of Parsley
Parsley is a herb that is considered safe. However, with any new food caution should be taken to be sure you don’t have any dangerous interactions.
Those with any preexisting medical conditions should always consult their doctor before adding any new herbs into their diet.
If taken in its natural form, parsley is safest.Those who use parsley oil, are at an increased risk of side effects. Headaches, seizures, and loss of balance are just a few.
As with anything, nursing or pregnant women should not take parsley in excessive amounts. Although no evidence of toxic symptoms exists, parsley can cause blood thinning. This can lead to problems during or right after pregnancy.
In some people, parsley can cause skin allergies such as an itchy rash. Although this is rare, it can occur. If you experience any uncomfortable side effects, discontinue using it and call your doctor.(5)
Adding parsley to your diet can add a little spice and variety to your diet. It is a great way to get vitamins and antioxidants when used appropriately.
Parsley can be bought in stores or you can grow it yourself. It is easy to cultivate this herb, which grows twice a year in most areas. Parsley will also regenerate in your garden if left alone.
It is also great for growing in a windowsill or indoors during the winter time.
So, what's your take on parsley, don't forget to share your views?